Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It Rained!

Yesterday morning when I took Patty for a walk, it was warm, muggy, and it certainly felt like a storm was coming.  There were Peepers making noises, calling up the rain.  My head hurt, my back hurt, and I felt every ache in my joints.  A storm was coming!

Sure enough, about 10:30 am I heard distant rumblings of thunder.  I hurried Patty outdoors to get a potty break before the rain.  I know she hates storms.

Then the gulley washer came.  This was a real Spring-like storm.  Winds howled, rain gushed, and it rained all the day and into the evening.

I lost all cyber communications at 12:30 pm.  I have a bundled service for internet, t.v., and landline.  It was all gone.  I did not get these services back until this morning.  It was a long, quiet evening of knitting, reading, and a little bit more spinning.

Strangely I never felt any tornadoes nearby.  But there were some tornadoes south of us.  Those storms headed East, and it is the same storms that got Georgia.  I think they are heading further East today.

The weatherman said tonight that the amount of rain was significant.  We got the most rain in one day that was last recorded in 2011.  We are still in severe drought.  But it was a good rain.

Oh-and this morning we had some kind of snow event for about an hour.  It was weird snow pellets.

Now it is really cold, windy, and normal winter weather.  This is supposed to last two days, and then another warm-up is coming.  SIGH!

I finished plying my BFL today.  I will wind it up on the skein winder tomorrow, wash it, and block it.  YEAH!

And I got an order for two pairs of socks.  I am knitting as fast as my little hands will let me. 

I am also half-way through with the last kitchen towel on the loom.

So some progress is happening.

Snuggle up and keep warm.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Another Dreary Gray Day!

I have been a very poor blogger lately.  I seem to be working constantly on spinning, knitting, or weaving.  Yet-there seems to be little of interest to show.  I finished my winter sweater.  It fits perfectly, and I like it a lot.  The targhee brown wool is perfect for a tough-wearing sweater.  It is my go-to favorite sweater to wear now.  The pink is my handspun from my stash.  I did not remember it being varied colored, but there it is.

I did make one of those pretty little bags in the Jane Austen Knits Fall 2012 issue.  I used leftover yarn from stash.  I lined it with a soft fabric from an old dress.

And I did a little bit of dyeing.  This is kota (Navajo tea) that has been languishing around in my stash of dye materials.  I did two batches of wool, and the second has a softer duller yellow.  The fabric was the cloth I used to strain out the bits of dyewood.  So I washed it, and after ironed it is in my pile of hand dyed fabrics.  I poured some of the dye liquor into a gallon jar and added some silk fabrics I had in a pile of stash fabrics.  I left it to dye in the sunlight for three or four days.  They are very nice, too, and they are now in the pile of hand dyed fabrics.

I am on sockie two of another pair of socks.  I am knitting a sontag, and I have started a pair of fingerless mitts with some handspun yarn I found in my stash.

I finally kicked myself in the butt and finished the kitchen towel that I hated on the loom.  I then found some larger yarn in my drawer of dishcloth yarn.  I finished that towel in one day.  I am going to finish one more towel and get the loom free to do something fun.  I will have 4 kitchen towels, and one of my friends wants the last one.  It will have some funky colors in it that she likes.

I sold a pair of socks on my website!  And I have an inquiry about some of the handspun yarn.  Whew!  I guess I am waiting for lightening to strike, because not much has been happening there. 

My lesson today has been about Flickers.  I know them as large woodpeckers that are sometimes a nuisance.  One cabin I lived in had a flicker that beat on the wall every day at the same time-very early in the morning! 

When I looked out my back door today I saw a large bird that was pecking along the ground.  It was much bigger than the robins out there.  I got my bird book and sure enough, I was right, it was a flicker.  I have never seen them peck on the ground.  As I was reading the description, habitat, etc. in the bird book, it mentioned that flickers are the only woodpecker that pecks the ground.  It was searching for beetles and larvae. 

My other lesson is harder for me today.  My friend CF came for an overnight last night.  She drove from Jasper, and left her dog here.  She met her daughter in Fayetteville for a night at the symphony.
This morning when we pulled up the covers, her dog had "dug" a spot on the quilt.  It will need major repair.  Sigh!  My friend OSM's dog peed in three rooms with carpeting.  Now this one dug a mess into my quilt.  Sigh!  Sigh! Sigh!

Something came into the backyard last night.  Noodles woke me up with caterwauling at the back door very early at 5 am.  Patty would not leave the house after the initial pee break.  One time I took her out, she shivered and shook and ran back onto the deck.  Noodles has been outside patrolling all day.  He has been watching the edges of the property and smelling everything.  He comes in, roams around the house, and then he is back outside on his duty rounds.  My friend's dog went all over the back yard with her nose down smelling.  I did find some scat in the middle of the yard that looks like small mammal-maybe raccoon or possum.  I found coyote scat last week, but that is not so unusual.

So I guess that is all that is new and exciting around here.  Another dreary weather day.  We have been unusually mild while elsewhere it is freezing.  We were to have some rain today, and we haven't.  It is reported that we are to have a Spring-like storm on Tuesday.  Maybe, maybe not.  The birds have been feeding in a frenzy, which is a sign of weather change.  I believe them more than the weather man. 

So back to plying.  Have a good week!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I Am Worried About Blogger

I have been trying for days to upload some photos, but I guess Blogger has nixed that idea.  There isn't a link to post photos.  There is a link to post files, but no photo part.  I will figure it out eventually.

I had two glorious days of dyeing, and I wanted to show those.  I got up at midnight and put the Kota (Navajo Tea) in the pan to soak overnight.  Late the next morning in glorious sunshine, I started making my dye.  The first straining looked really promising, and I boiled the parts again.  I poured both of those liquors in the big dyepot, and away we went.  I did not think I had much to dye with, since there was only 4 ozs of dried twigs and flowers.  I chose a small dab of Rambouillet that I had, and it is a beautiful golden yellow.  I dyed two skeins of JO Sharp wool that has wool, silk, and cashmere in it.  It is a beautiful golden color.  I also loved my straining cloth that had some really yellow and golds in it.  I decided to wash it and put it in my pile of handdyed cloths in the sewing room.   Enough for one day.

Next morning, I boiled up the dyestuff that had been soaking overnight again.  It was still a strong yellow.  I poured out a gallon jar of the previous days dyebath, and I set it in the sunlight with some silk remnants that I found in the sewing room.

When I poured the dyebath into the dyepot, it did not look as strong as the previous days dye.  This was the third boiling, and I knew it was iffy.  So I dug around in my stash and I found a small amount of merino roving, and soaked it.  I got a lovely browny gold color.  Very subtle and pale.  But very pretty. 

I am trying to use up my natural dyes and get back into that habit again.  I only had one problem with it all- I had a full-blown allergy attack.  I had this similar problem with rabbitbrush.  I don't know if it is a plant that does not grow around here and my body does not recognize the pollen.  Or if I truly am allergic.  Who knows?  It won't stop me. 

Since my friend OSM came to visit last Fall, I have been thinking a lot about food.  I know I think about food a lot anyway.  I think because I live alone, I have the tendency to pop something out of the freezer or make myself a sandwich, or maybe eat some fast food.  Anything to get it done and over with.  I do cook for myself, but usually it is such a large amount in a meal that it isn't that interesting to do.  What I do when I crave something is make it up, and then freeze the leftovers.  Then I can pop it out of the freezer and instant meal.

Well, with her body's reaction to the toxins I decided to think about this more seriously.  So since then I have been cooking more and popping stuff in the freezer.  I cook a whole roast, and then I have 4 or 5 meals prepared.  I cooked up some chicken legs the other night, and that was three meals. 

I found something on the internet the other day about not eating foods that have more than one ingredient on the label.  I think what they meant was watch for the unpronounceable words that indicate chemicals added.  So I have been mixing my own herbal blends and storing in glass jars.
I made waffles yesterday, and I enjoyed that tremendously.

I have been thinking of breadmaking a lot lately.  I used to make bread all the time.  Even when I lived alone.  But I have gotten a bit lazy.  I guess also I can't eat a whole loaf of bread before it is bad.  I also have a huge sack of bread cubes from the last two loaves of bread I made.  So that hasn't gotten out of the thinking part.

I made up a batch of bread pudding, but that barely touched the sack of cubes.  So until that goes down, I won't entertain breadmaking.

I am also concerned about the flu going around.  I am not going to WalMart unless it is a dire emergency.  I went 6 weeks ago, and it was awful then.

I know it sounds paranoid, but I don't like going out to public places any more.  I listen for anyone coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and blowing their noses.  Sanitary wipes are my friend.

Yesterday I was bored with the sock I am knitting.  So I got some of my stash leftover sock yarn and made a really cute cat toy.  I put catnip and batting inside.  It took about an hour and a half.  It was so cute and odd looking.  Noodles just looked at it and walked away.  I even squeezed it to put out the scent.  Nope.  Hmmph!

Nothing else new.  Off to the grocery to stock up for next cold spell coming Sunday.  This week has been tolerably nice.  We had a bit of dampness that I guess is called rain.  Less than half an inch.  It just makes the clouds hang around, dreary, and damp.  There is wind too.  So those warm temps that were mentioned by the weatherman are not coming true. 

Still spinning on the BFL, but found two tiny bits of odd stuff that I am plying together.  It won't be much, but I may make a stuffed toy or something small. 

I have got to figure out this picture thing on Blogger.  It just is irritating.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Another Year Is Beginning!

No pics-just thoughts.  I cannot understand a lot of things-
1-why would anyone pay $4million for a 30 second ad?  The Super Bowl only occurs once a year-$4million!  What a frivolous waste of money!
2-why would my grocery store have a HUGE table set up with Special K and SlimFast drinks next to the HUGE table with cookies, candy, and cakes?
3-why was that lady wearing her gym clothes (really tight stretchy pants, top, and sneakers) into the grocery store yesterday?
4-why does it feel warmer with the sun shining, even though it is still frigid outside?
5-why is it that every time I measure my knitting, it is the same count as the last time I measured?  Isn't it supposed to be growing?
6-why does my neighbor keep bringing me cake that she and her husband don't want?  I am not going to tell her no, so I just throw it away?
7-why do people pay all that money for those special spice mixtures?  Just put the ingredients together and store it in a nice tight glass jar.  You don't have any unpronounceable ingredients if you mix your own.
8-why does everyone have their knickers in a twist over the fiscal cliff?  I mean some corporation is paying $4million for a 30 second ad.  And everyone is buying "stuff" every day that is considered frivolous from that nameless megacorporation that specializes in sucking people into their store to buy for less!

Okay-I feel all better!  I guess I am a curmudgeon.  I used to live in a tiny cabin in Oklahoma that was heated by wood, and I replaced the shower cabinet for $99.  I had a sign on the gate that said,"Live Simply, So Others Can Simply Live."  I know I don't live like that now.  But I am very conscious of how big a footprint I am creating.  Yes, I live in a furnace-heated home and I have a room for every type of thing I do.  One for knitting and weaving, one for spinning, one for sewing, and the kitchen is my dye room.  I try to live as simply as I can, but I, too, am frivolous enough to buy yarn instead of making all of it myself.  Oh, well, enough of confessions.

I guess the new year is starting.  I am ranting and raving again.  Sorry!  It is just too hard to not get upset with our culture.  What a wasteful group of people!  I mean-$4million dollars for a 30 second ad!  Really!  Where else could that money be spent?

I did hear an interesting interview on NPR one day.  This man was discussing charities and giving, etc.  He said the reason there are so many charities for other countries is that when you build a school, vaccinate children, provide water and sewage to a village, etc, you change the life of the people there.  You give them an opportunity to change their lives.  In our country, our social web is set up to improve the situation for the moment.  More beds in homeless shelters, food for the children.  We are not trying to change peoples lives, we are only trying to improve on the situation they are in.  Interesting perspective.

 I know that a friend of mine was a teacher in a private school that had after-school programs.  The children could stay there and be safe until the parent could get off work.  They discouraged parents from allowing their children to return home alone (latch-key kids).  The kids learned woodworking, knitting, needlework, writing, art, they could read, they could play board games, chess, etc.  No electronics allowed.  I thought that was such a great idea. 

Well, it is a gray, overcast day.  We had a few little flurries this morning, but the temp is too warm for sticking.  I guess everyone can tell when my mood is overcast and gray. 

Have a great weekend.  I am still spinning the BFL that I dyed.  I am watching BBC mysteries on Netflix.  It gets me through.  The pets are close by.  Life is good!